Hey everyone! Today I’m going to step away from my typical DIY post and share with you a little (or a lot) more about the journey of this pregnancy so far. If you missed my previous post, it was a long road to where we are today. I’m extremely thankful to have a beautiful baby girl growing beautifully in my tummy. Today is also a big day and milestone for me and my family…I am now 24 weeks which means I’m at viability. God forbid something happens, our sweet little girl has a chance to stay on this beautiful earth! Celebrations today!
I found out very early on that I was pregnant. I was introduced to my amazing doctor by a friend and had my first appointment on a Tuesday afternoon. I told him there was a chance I was pregnant because we had tried but I wasn’t sure on the exact date as I was coming off a miscarriage. When I wasn’t coming off a miscarriage I had the date down to a “t” as I was very diligent on tracking my menstrual cycles and ovulation. (On a side note I highly recommend the “cheap” pregnancy and ovulation test strips from Amazon. They have always shown a positive pregnancy result before the more expensive brands. Wondfu Ovulation and Pregnancy Tests.)
Okay back to my story…I went in on a Tuesday and took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. I wasn’t surprised as I was thinking I was testing about a week too early. I learned a lot about my new doc and I was so excited that I had found him. On top of the 3 previous miscarriages I was also trying to find a doctor that was supportive of VBACs. (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) I couldn’t wait to get pregnant and be able to work with him and have his support during pregnancy. My friend who went there had 4 previous miscarriages and a successful pregnancy with him as well as multiple other people she knew. He has a good track record. 🙂
While at my appointment on Tuesday he tested me for multiple blood clotting disorders. I had some testing done with my previous doctor but everything was coming back normal. There was a lot of mystery as to why I was miscarrying. I had mentioned that I heard low homocysteine levels could be a cause to recurrent miscarriages. He said that we would test that within the test for MTHFR.
Weeks 3 & 4
That Friday I had the urge to take a pregnancy test. I wasn’t planning to test until Monday but impatient me felt the need to test. I took a test and sure enough I got a faint positive. In the past I tried not to get too excited because if the test didn’t darken then I was more than likely miscarrying. I called in to my doctor and they had me come in to get my HCG levels. I took a pregnancy test while I was there and it too showed a faint positive. I also did some blood work and then planned to see him again after we got the results from the blood work for HCG and the previous blood clotting work up I did on Tuesday.
When getting tested for HCG they typically want you to come in 2 days after and get your levels checked again. They want to see that your HCG levels have doubled over that 48 hours. Not everyone’s levels double all the time so don’t worry. Although when I miscarried mine didn’t double properly. That being said, they wanted me to come in on Monday to get the second round of blood work done.
I received a phone call Monday morning telling me that my HCG levels were 17. I was devastated because in the past when my levels were that low, I typically miscarried. My doctor told me not to lose hope because pregnancy could have been detected early on. I got the blood work done again and received a call first thing on Tuesday with the results of my second round of HCG levels. I had more than doubled so that was good news. I was still low (in the 40s) but my doctor was not concerned at all.
I tried to stay positive and believe that this baby was going to make it but I will admit it’s not an easy thing to do when you’ve gone through multiple miscarriages. Also on Tuesday I received the results to the blood clotting disorders. Everything came back negative except MTHFR. I was positive for two genes of the mutation. In short my body doesn’t produce folate (different than folic acid) properly so I need to take extra folate to help my body. I learned a lot in my first two weeks of pregnancy and that’s why writing this post today is so important to me. Support groups are the best thing in the world and we all know we google everything! 🙂
These few weeks in pregnancy were pretty normal. I had lots of ultrasounds and blood work to check on the levels of my HCG, Progesterone and folate. Every time I had an ultrasound I asked if they could see a SCH (Subchorionic Hemorrhage). I had one with my 10 week loss so I was very concerned about it this pregnancy. Each time I was thankful that it didn’t show it’s ugly face. My doctor told me they are more common in the early weeks but can still be found later on.
I went in for another ultrasound, I think I was up to about 4-5 ultrasounds so far! I love having them and I’m very thankful my doctor believes they are helpful. Everything was looking great and baby was growing right on target. Towards the end I asked if they found an SCH and unfortunately the ultrasound tech had found one. It was still considered small but still worrisome nonetheless. My doctor recommended to lay low, not to lift anything heavy, and pelvic rest. I went to the extreme and basically put myself on bed rest for a week. My saint of a mother came into town to watch my daughter while I got some rest.
I went in for a follow-up ultrasound a week later and I was feeling hopeful because the SCH had gotten smaller! I am a true believer that rest is part of the healing process. Since it had gotten smaller I decided to up my activity a little and start helping with my daughter’s daily routines again. It was nice to have a week break from everything but bed rest is harder than you think. You get quite antsy at times.
I went in again in a week and my SCH had grown larger than the first time. This was quite discouraging but I also felt I couldn’t go back on bed rest as it wasn’t fair to my daughter or my mom. I just decided to stick with the light activity and no heavy lifting. During that week I had some dark brown spotting and I called my doctor (I have his cell phone…amazing right?!) and he told me that brown blood is good and hopefully that means that the SCH was draining out. I went in that week and sure enough my SCH had been resolving. I was hoping that things were looking up from here on!
I plan to write another post within the next few weeks more about SCH because they are a newer diagnosis and there is not much common knowledge regarding them.
Our SCH has resolved! It was a happy day in our household but I was still leery as to whether it was completely gone. I stuck with my light movement routine and didn’t want to believe it fully until I had another scan that confirmed it was gone. Pregnancy was quite normal with these next two weeks.
Our ultrasound confirmed that the SCH was still gone so happy dance and no pelvic rest! 🙂 Felt okay to get back to the house cleaning and other norms. I still won’t pick up my daughter often as I don’t want to irritate anything or cause another SCH. Normally you aren’t supposed to lift anything over 20lbs anyways when pregnant. My daughter is 30lbs.
I was visiting family over the 4th of July and unfortunately had some spotting. It was mostly brown so I tried not to worry but it started to get worse so I called my doctor. He advised me to go the Emergency Room as it was 10pm at night on July 3rd. Unfortunately, it was kind of a joke and a HUGE waste of time. All they did was put me on an IV (I was very hydrated so I know that wasn’t the issue) and checked for a heart beat. I also knew there was one because I have my own fetal doppler – another thing I highly recommend in the early stages of pregnancy. I rarely use it now since I feel movement throughout the day. I was hoping they would give me an ultrasound and make sure that an SCH did not return but they wouldn’t do it.
The spotting stopped a few days later and once I got back to Minneapolis I went in for a scan. The ultrasound tech couldn’t find any signs of an SCH so that was good news. She did find one suspicious spot near the edge of my placenta but wasn’t sure it was cause for concern. My doctor reviewed the scans and wasn’t sure exactly what it was. He put me back on modified bed rest and told me take it easy once again.
2 weeks later I went back in for another scan and it showed up again but a little smaller this time. He concluded that it was a blood vessel and I was allowed to go back to normal routine.
The last two weeks have been uneventful which is good! I went in for a regular appointment and my doc thought all was good. We heard the heart beat and since I wasn’t having any odd symptoms he felt confident with where I am at. I go in again in two weeks for another ultrasound and I’m looking forward to it. It will have been a month since my last scan which is the longest I’ve gone in between ultrasounds.
All in all it hasn’t being the easiest pregnancy but it hasn’t been the worst pregnancy. I continue to pray that our little girl continues to grow right on track and she is born a healthy and strong! I apologize for the novel but there is a lot to share when you are talking about 6 months worth of information. Below is a few of my bump pics and a fun little bumpdate with fun facts about my pregnancy so far! Happy Wednesday friends and thanks for being such loyal and supportive readers!
Maternity clothes: I’ve been wearing them a long time. I’m a lot bigger this time around.
Wedding rings on or off? On and not having any swelling thankfully. I think the weight loss has helped.
Mood: Mostly in a good mood but I do tend to get quite sad at times. Darn hormones.
Your article was so interesting. I’m 81 years old and had 8 Children before I turned 30. I never had a scare or ant test that you have had. I didn’t know all the things that can go wrong so I never worried one bit. By the time I was forty, my kids were mostly grown so I went back to school and got my degrees. I am now retired from teaching and enjoying life.. After reading your article I realized how easy my life was.
I’m glad that you had successful pregnancies and 8 beautiful children that came from it! Keep enjoying life! It’s a beautiful thing!